Allie Brosh Presents: 6 Ways To Establish Workplace Dominance

In the modern workplace, everyone wants to stand out as a leader.  Everyone wants to be respected and admired by their coworkers.  This is normally achieved through hard work, dedication and good interpersonal skills, but I’m going to give you a few shortcuts based on ancient, unquestionable principles of dominance.

1. Use your appearance to stand out as much as possible.

Have you ever seen a peacock that is wildly successful but also brown and unimpressive-looking?  No. You haven’t.  Unfortunately, brightly colored clothing is pretty commonly available to humans, so you’re going to need to go one step further if you want to be noticed.

Demonstrate your superiority by wrapping your body in colorful, flashing lights and display your mastery of fire by carrying sparklers with you to important meetings.

2. Unwavering eye contact sends a clear signal

Eye contact can be used in a number of ways to assert your dominance.  For example, if you make eye contact with a coworker, you must not look away first as that is a sign of submission.  Hold their gaze for as long as necessary to make them submit to you.

3.  Total lack of eye contact also sends a clear signal

If you cross paths with a subordinate human, you must make every effort not to acknowledge them because they are beneath you.  Ignore them and they will know their place.

4.  Surprise your rivals with symbolic displays of authority

In the wild, animals often display their dominance by mounting.  But in this day of sexual harassment lawsuits, it is best to avoid such a display, no matter how effective it is.  Luckily, there are other physical displays of dominance at your disposal.  For example, wolves often firmly place a paw on the shoulders of another pack member to show their superiority.  You may use this gesture as much as you like to sneak up the workplace hierarchy.

5.  Monopolize important resources and use them as bargaining tools

If you control the resources, you have the power.

6.  Claim new territory with scent

The size of your territory is directly related to your level of dominance.  To acquire new territory as your own, it is important to use a scent marking to alert others that you have staked your claim.  Liberally apply your perfume, cologne or favorite Febreze scent to others’ things to show them that the things now belong to you.

So go forth, brave leader.  Don’t take “no” or “what the hell do you think you’re doing?” for an answer.  You’ve worked hard for this and it’s about time you claimed your rightful position in the workplace hierarchy.

Share This Post:
    • Wende

      Love it!!!

    • Wende

      NIce – and first…

    • Cailey

      XD This. Is. GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mary

      Were these tips published previously? I’ve had co-workers who have used these methods.

    • spyke

      Once again, you win.

    • Katiedid

      Great. Where am I supposed to find battery powered christmast lights in August?!

      • kathy

        At one of those crazy, 365 days a year Christmas stores, of course. :-)

      • kaze my friend.

    • Amélie

      LOL for the sugar embargo! I’ll try that at work… wait. I work with kids. Maybe I’ll steal all their snacks.

      • Beth

        I don’t think it’s possible to establish dominance over kids. They operate by a completely different set of rules! (ANARCHY!)

    • Jen

      I can’t WAIT to bring sparklers into my next meeting! Maybe I’ll twirl like a balerina when I enter the room, for added noticeability.

    • Diana

      I’m fairly sure I work with all these people. :)

    • Sue McGoo

      I love the expression on Febreze girl’s face. You’re wacky and I hope you never stop:)

    • Martha

      Don’t take “what the hell do you think you’re doing?” for an answer! That’s a good policy for life in general.

    • Kat

      this is full of so much win!

    • Bailey

      Awesome. This is great advice, but my coworkers are 300 miles away, and it’s very difficult to establish workplace dominance from that distance. Any advice for us people who work from home? I’d like to dominate some people too. :)

      • Jessica

        I think you can apply the same rules. Make an obnoxious logo with your initials and stamp it on everything. Ignore communications from your subordinates, and use telephone silence in place of the intimidation stare.

    • Quixotic


    • Nadine

      HA, Wende got pwned. You’re not first and your name is spelled wrong.

    • Gene

      The sugar is by far my favorite move

      • Gina

        i love that movie also! asoka is soo hottt

    • Queen B

      I am perfume girl! I also use the intimidation stare quite frequently…I practice at home with my cats.

    • Simone

      Hilarious! Do you have any advice for how to handle a loud-ass bitch who crunches on Red Hots all day? I’m thinking about bringing in a bag of corn nuts and having a “Crunch Off” to end all crunch offs. I’m all about avoiding eye contact with people who think their title actually means something. It’s my way of letting them know they’re ridiculous. xoxo

    • Katymae

      I would follow anybody who entered a meeting with sparklers, if only to know what area of the office to avoid.

    • Hamp

      Number 6 has happened on my workplace.
      A co-worker sprayed another co-workers office with urinal-block-smelly-stuff-on-a-can.
      The only problem was that the spray was extremely concentrated and now 6 months later, it still stinks. ^^

    • mezz

      Love it, Allie! That baby sure knows who’s boss now.

    • Chrissie

      Your illustrations crack me up every time.. I cannot express how hilarious looking they are.

    • Winning at Business

      This would be funny, if it hadn’t already been written about extensively, (AND seriously I might add) on my blog ages ago. Check it out Allie, maybe you can find more content to inspire you….

      • Loser at Business

        Wow, were you trying to sound like a whining crybaby, or did that sneak out by accident?

      • Winning at Life

        Get over yourself, “winning at business.” This article is meant for humor and nothing else. Stop trying to steal Allie’s thunder by plugging your own product. You’re not impressing anyone.

      • Anomaly42

        Publicly proving yourself to be a douchebag is not a good way to increase traffic to your webpage.

      • EnjoyPA

        …and I’m sure that NO ONE has EVER written anything similar to this before you wrote about it on YOUR blog. Get a life.

      • Bubbles

        Got news for you; this is still funny…..

      • Jack

        Winning, you seem to have misspelled “worse” as both “extensively,” and “seriously.” But it’s okay, everyone makes mistakes.

      • Marie

        Sorry Winning, youre just not that funny.

      • petepuma01

        You’re a douche.

      • Feisty

        @ By Winning at Business Boo. Hisssss

      • Joe

        Yeah, this is most definitely stolen from your site that nobody has heard of. It’s completely impossible for two people to have similar ideas without one copying the other. You are a dick who doesn’t matter, so in a sad attempt to get attention for your site that nobody cares about, you claim that Allie, who people actually know and like, stole your material. Go pretend you wrote the Matrix.

      • Hubbzalot

        I think you’re lame and jealous of the awesomeness that is leaking out of the computer from Allie’s super amazing writing and drawing. The purpose of her writing is to entertain and if you are not interested, then don’t read it.

      • Markus

        I see what you did there, establishing dominance by pointing out that you obviously have more experience in business satire. Well done, Sir…

      • ur kinda an a$$

        you’re really quite a bit of an ass- you don’t own articles- why are you creepin on Allie’s? and agreed- I think u may need a good kick in the shin… shame on u for being such a cry baby….hopefully someone will call you a wah-bulence

      • Mirgle

        Wow you sound like you really know what you’re doing.
        1) It really matters how long ago you’ve done a similar blog.
        2) It also really matters how extensive your blog is.
        3) Since this is done in humor, as in all of her blogs, her fans are obviously going to be interested in your crappy fail >>SERIOUS<< blog.
        4) She obviously can't think of her own ideas and isn't creative at all, so of course she needs to take inspiration from serious bloggers from all over the internet, yours especially.
        5) Since you're so stoic and serious about life, you probably haven't noticed the sarcasm in this post which is why I'm going to point it out to you. This is all in sarcasm. Asshole.

      • Jarodimus

        Winning at Business…
        Failing at Life.

      • Will

        no one wants to go on your site… Winner at business? Loser at internet.

      • Allie

        Haha, dude, I’ve never even seen your site before. From what I can tell, you wrote some stuff about work and so obviously you own that topic and no one else can ever write about work ever again. I find your presumptuousness hilarious.

        Anyway, I’m just going to leave this here:

      • Carol

        Uh, wow. I’m pretty sure you didn’t even read the article. Did you get jealous because you read the title and saw she had more readers than you??

    • darci

      i love that i can see your stuff on here too! very funny.

    • lily ruth’s mama

      … does winning at business understand that people will now be lining up to kick them in the shins for dissing Allie?

    • CB

      Fail to see where Miss Brosh is cribbing on your post, Mr. Winner. Honestly, this is something I’d consider hard to “own” because it’s just riffing on pack psychology. Should we be asking Jane Goodall or Marlin Perkins if they’d giving you shit for your post? Groundbreaking this ain’t. Entertaining this is.

    • Ricki

      I like the scent marking. I may start doing that. Especially with my sharpies. Oh and Allie…you seriously need to write some sort of book with all your drawrings. They make me laugh daily. Sometimes when im sad or upset I just go look at a drawing and it perks me right up! :)

      • Mirgle

        Totally agreed on the book idea! Allie, you should totally do a book!

    • DLaw

      It IS FUNNY!!! Mean people suck —> Winning at Business

    • iamwhatiam

      Well, Winner @ Work…you have written extensively. This is a grand place for the old adage “different strokes for different folks”. While your blog is informative, fer shure…I am much more in tune with Allie’s sense of humor. I notice that you have a nice little following–please don’t piss in our Wheaties–we’re not pissing in yours. I’m just sayin’.

      Allie–nothin’ but love fer ya!! xoxo

    • Crystal

      I am amused that the commenter before me believes anyone would want to read a “serious” version of this. But Allie version is epic!

    • Sarah

      I tried this and it really works! I’m in the Army, and I was tired of my first sergeant telling me what to do, so I sprayed Bath & Body Works body mist on his patrol cap. Now he just rolls over on his back whenever I come anywhere near him. Victory!

      • Monica

        But the important question is–what *kind* of Bath & Body Works body mist?

      • jocool

        HA!! chuckle.

    • Ignacious

      yeah dude what’s Winning at Business’s problem?? Chill out, would ya? Uptight much?

      • Allie

        I seriously can’t stop laughing about it though…

        He was so angry and sounded like he was seriously convinced that I’d found his little business blog and hatched some diabolical plan to rip him off.

    • Sarah

      When you publish a book, I promise I will buy many, many, many copies.

    • Mirgle

      Hahaha @ Joe’s comment, btw.

    • Liz

      The sugar packets thing made me ROFFLE!!! In our teacher’s lounge, it’s the person with the plastic forks that is dominant– all others must bow… or eat leftover spaghetti with a spoon :D

    • Laurel

      It’s scary just how many of these I’ve run across in various offices… I think you may be defining the next step in anthropology. All textbooks should use your illustrations.

    • Mikey

      Did someone just figure out why you don’t mess with the Brosh Brigade? We are rabid and we bite.

      • Allie


    • Jenni O

      So so very funny Miss Allie! Just the thinking about someone walking into a business meeting all lit up like Christmas makes me pee my pants a little. I love your blog. You are awesome

    • Buttons

      I love you, but not in that stalker kind of way……

    • Yvonne

      OMFG you’ve been to my workplace!!

    • W1nnar @ bidness

      I feel that your readers should know that you are a fraud, for it is I who invented work and febreze and wolf dominance, having thought extensively and previously about such subjects in my head.

      • Allie

        But I thought about it before I was even born!

        So there!

    • Talya

      But obviously Allie totally PWNED you by publishing it first. :)

    • Jennifer

      Allie –
      I know you care about grammar Alot. “A subordinate human” is singular. “Them” is plural.

      I love your blog.

      • Allie

        I know, I know, but the phrase “he or she” seems out of place in my writing style. It feels less jarring to just misuse “they/them” (and in my defense, the use of singular “they/them” is becoming more acceptable due to the lack of a gender-neutral, singular pronoun in the English language.)

        While I care a great deal about proper grammar, I often find it necessary to break the rules a little bit in order to stick with my artistic voice. Every now and then an infinitive may be split, a conjunction may be used to start a sentence and a preposition may be used to end one – it’s just how I write.

        However, I fully endorse the idea of knowing the rules before breaking them. This makes me feel at least a little less hypocritical for preaching proper grammar while abusing my own :)

      • Jessica

        Actually, many editors and grammarians have come out in support of using them instead of ‘him or her” as it is both simpler and more politically correct; there are people who don’t consider themselves a him or her, but both or neither.

      • kate

        I avoid this problem simply by making all of my subjects plural. It might not make sense but it’s politically correct and my grammar is impeccable!

    • gruff

      Using “them” as a singular pronoun in order to avoid specifying gender is an accepted practice. Jennifer.

    • Joakim

      I’ve found that dousing co-workers in gasoline and lighting them on fire is a very effective way of asserting dominance.
      Dangerous? Yes. (You have to be careful not getting any gasoline on yourself, especially since you’ll have to use open flame to light up the co-worker). Harsh? Certainly. Insane? Probably. But remember, it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. Especially so if you’re in the hot dog business.

    • Bruce

      Hey, what about in a little less civilized work place? I’m in an all male unit and we work with guns and boats and we use excessive profanity and we eat meals that come out of little bags and live in tents… We fight and wrestle and play fun jokes on each other. I like the concept of the “intimidation stare” however, we already spend a lot of time practicing in the mirror with that and we have graduated to a level where flexing and sometimes knifes are needed to get the desired effect.

      • Allie

        In this case, you may need to implement fire. You could also use the boats to battle one another. I think that would be the most awesome option.

      • Keith

        Boat jousting seems to be the solution here.

    • Ziggy

      Actually, it is now acceptable (according to the powers-that-be, aka MLA) to split infinitives and use the plural third person pronoun to refer to singular people when their sex is not known. And MLA sprayed Febreze all OVER the English language, so we have to listen to… them? It? Oh, forget it.

    • Angel

      Please make a shirt with the intimidation stare. It would be the best ever.

    • glitrbug

      You forgot food dominance. The woman who makes the best dark chocolate cherry cake controls who gets it and gains dominance. We finally got the good flat screen monitors by having said lady refuse to make her cake when the big boss came to visit as long as we were stuck with CRT’s. He caved so fast, he all but laid on the floor tummy up.

    • David

      And never underestimate the power of urine in the workplace.

    • Nik

      Oh Allie, I love the intimidation stare and I am dying to try it out at work. I’m a teacher, so it will also work great on children. Does that make me a bad person? Hmmm…

    • Lacey

      Allie- My mom (who loves your blog btw) keeps a water gun in her desk at work. If anyone lurks, loiters, or shows any signs of trying to be more dominant in her office, she busts it out and squirts them. No joke…people seriously dont know what to do after that.

      • Allie

        I don’t know your mom, but I already love her.

      • ricki

        omg. im so doing that when someone gets my sharpies. sharpies are like gold boulion in my office.

    • Graham

      You missed a common but always effective tool. No matter who is talking (especially if they think they are your superior) you speak MUCH LOUDER AT ALL TIMES, and when you run out of words, LAUGH VERY LOUDLY so as to effectively drown everyone else out and assert your dominance. Works very well in important meetings with the CEO and other misguided people who think they are your superiors. The best part is, you can add the “cut-in” and stop anyone else who dares to speak in your presence after they get only one or two words out. Add strategic deployment of this tool if you really dislike certain people and you can send so many unspoken messages that you will become God in the eyes of all the others who hate the person too, but are too polite/civilized/normal to do anything about it!

    • StephanieC

      INTIMIDATION STARE eeriy resembles the look on Special Dog’s face in your blog. Hmmm, perhaps Special Dog is more equipped than first thought??

      (Am I allowed to reference your blog here or is that bad Gloss ettiquette?)

      p.s. I hate it when babies crawl up to me at work (on a construction site). I’m all “pffft, whatever, I’m not acknowledging you… and put on your damn hard hat”

    • GreenJellybean

      I don’t know what’s funnier – the blog post or the grammar comments from your readers. Nerds!!

    • GreenJellybean
    • George

      Allie — you should seek a lawyer to defend your prenatal invention even if it was conceived just after conception!

    • George

      Allie — you should seek a lawyer to defend your prenatal patent rights. Even if the idea was conceived not long after conception!

    • Cam

      I like to spin around in circles and slobber, while twitching my left shoulder (twitching the right shoulder doesn’t seem to quite have the same effect) and hobbling, slightly favoring the right leg. Yes, people run away screaming; yes, people stare and gasp; yes, the ambulance arrives, but what everyone fails to realize, is that I have declared ultimate dominance. Whatever space I happen to be occupying is ALL MINE!!!! Don’t you see how dominating that is just by the number of exclamation points after the word ‘mine’?

    • Loreleion

      Also, make sure you have a clean vagina.

    • astrocat

      Allie, that blue dress with lights and sparklers — Christmas tree ornament??

      • Brynn

        I would totally buy that as a Christmas ornament!

      • Heather

        yes please!

      • Colleen

        I would TOTALLY buy that too!

      • Skenned

        Oh god yes.

    • Emma

      I can’t even explain how hysterically I am laughing right now. People are looking at me funny..

    • Adara Clark

      Another good display is to have all the latest techno gadgets, which will make people want to both copy and play with your toys, thus making you immensely popular. It also might make you immensely hated, but you know what they say about the one with the most toys wins.

    • Emma

      This is genius! I shall put these new techniques into practice! :D

    • Eilene Corcoran

      I have this hanging on my wall at school (I’m a teacher) My colleagues and my students have all been converted to Allie Brosh and Hyperbole and a Half fans. Now I need to go order the book.